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What are AAX Plugins?

The most frequent acronyms for plugin formats—VST, AU, and AAX—can be perplexing. The “Real Time AudioSuite” (RTAS) plugin standard was replaced by Avid’s proprietary audio plugin format, known as AAX. Unknowingly, you probably already utilize these plugins if you use Pro Tools. We will define AAX plugins in this article and discuss how they vary from other plugin formats like VST and AU.

What Is AAX?

A plug-in format called AAX (Avid Audio eXtension) was created by Avid Technologies, the organization behind Pro Tools, in 2011. For use in Pro Tools and other Avid media tools, Avid created their own plugin format called AAX. Like AU or VST plugins, AAX plugins might be instruments or effects.

However, these plugins can function both natively on your PC and on DSP acceleration hardware (but not always both, it depends on the plugin). The AAX format combines the best features of RTAS and TDM, two of Avid’s previous plug-in formats.

You do not need to be concerned with AAX plugins if you do not utilize Pro Tools.

Why Was AAX Created?

In 2013, creator Paul Neyrinck and Dave Tremblay of Avid provided an explanation of the rationale for the creation of AAX. Paul claims that the demand for a plug-in format that was compatible with both native and DSP systems gave rise to AAX (like an external DSP processor).

According to Dave, because AU is a Mac-only format, Windows users are forced to use VSTs, which highlights the need for a format that isn’t restricted to native apps.bAdditionally, he claimed that because of how VSTs handle automation, they don’t perform as well with really large sessions. The ability to create your own plugin format for your own DAW also has clear performance advantages.

What Is The Difference Between AAX And VST?

Simply said, AAX and VST are two distinct plugin formats that function with various DAWs. They all have the similar audio quality, and the layout of the plugin windows is nearly identical, but VST is compatible with a wider range of DAWs, such as Ableton, FL Studio, Cubase, and others. But only Pro Tools versions 10.38 and later support AAX. (2013)